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Success Stories

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Bryan Stromer

Where are you now? I am working in Redmond, Washington, at Microsoft’s global headquarters as a product marketing manager for Microsoft 365. In this role, I get to work on crafting the creative strategy for world-class products such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Teams, and Skype. How did the HOD Capstone Internship prepare you for your career? My HOD internship allowed me to take the concepts that I had spent the first half of my undergraduate career mastering and apply them in a real-world setting. As a strategy intern for Vanderbilt Athletics, I was able to gain insight into what is needed to drive strategy within a large organization. This is a skill that I use every day in my current role, and I am so grateful that I was able to develop it during my internship. Also, I was able to gain a lifelong mentor through my internship. My supervisor, Associate Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Deputy Athletics Director Candice Lee is someone with whom I have remained in touch and deeply admire.
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Siri Yelamanchili

Where are you now? I am a Global Strategic Marketing coordinator at Spotify in NYC. How did the HOD Capstone Internship prepare you for your career? The HOD internship gave me the opportunity to spend the second semester of my senior year in New York City, where I knew I wanted to pursue a career in entertainment post-graduation. I spent the semester as a communications intern for Bravo and Oxygen at NBCUniversal. My internship supervisor was a Vanderbilt graduate as well. Interning 40 hours a week gave me the perspective and time I needed to comprehend what a full-time job in the industry I am interested in would be like. Also learning how to juggle interning with a full course load taught me time-management skills and how to create a work-life balance. The internship itself gave me a mentor for whom I am so grateful, especially since she is a Vanderbilt alumna too! Finally, the HOD Capstone Internship also helped me land my first full-time job as a marketing coordinator for the Lifestyle (Bravo, E!, Oxygen, and Universal Kids) Network Partnerships (integrated marketing) team at NBCU.
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Aaron Chasan

Where are you now? IBM as a digital strategy consultant in Chicago, Illinois How did the HOD Capstone Internship prepare you for your career? My internship was at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London. That international work experience was definitely the most exceptional of my internships. Looking at the company through the lens of HOD was great because it forced me to find productive work when other interns were sitting around and because it got me in the habit of asking a lot of questions about the place I’m working. All of my supervisors have been impressed by that behavior since.
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Kate Bentsen

Where are you now? I am a sales coordinator at Spotify for the head of sales in the East region of Advertising Sales in NYC. How did the HOD Capstone Internship prepare you for your career? My HOD internship was my first experience in the music industry—I studied at Columbia Records in New York the summer before my senior year. It kicked off my streak of interning across different sectors of the music industry, from labels to publishing to finally streaming and tech. It allowed me to start creating a network of support in the industry that I now call home, and I could not be more thankful for the real experiences that became the tangible building blocks of my future interviews.
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Christine Lim

Where are you now? I am an incoming analyst in the Financial Product Sales and Analytics team at Bloomberg LP in New York City. How did the HOD Capstone Internship prepare you for your career? The HOD internship helped me further develop my professional skills and expand my connections in various industries. I was able to explore a field that I expressed curiosity in and make the most out of my internship with the guidance of my HOD internship professors. I learned and used the design-thinking method, which is an important tool and perspective that I still continue to use today.
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Stephen Amalfe

Where are you now? I work at PGIM Fixed Income, a large global asset manager headquartered in Newark, N.J. How did the HOD Capstone Internship prepare you for your career? My HOD Internship was at Lead Capital Partners in Nashville. My time at Lead provided me with both networking opportunities and the ability to develop relevant skills for an industry I planned on joining. The application-based learning approach to the class also allowed me to digest my work and projects and analyze them within the context of employment theory. I was able to combine what HOD calls “hard and soft skills” through the internship. Put simply, I learned a lot, I loved the people I worked for, and the whole experience set me up to be a more successful young professional.
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Elisabeth Katz

Where are you now? I am currently a business analyst in McKinsey & Company’s New York office. I’m specializing in McKinsey’s Marketing & Sales practice. How did the HOD Capstone Internship prepare you for your career? I did my HOD internship in New York City over the summer after my junior year, when I was interning at the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. I was already going to be doing the internship, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone by making it my HOD internship as well. The internship definitely helped prepare me for my career, shaping my interest in marketing and strategy that eventually led me to McKinsey’s Marketing & Sales practice. Doing the capstone project analyzing Ogilvy as an organization was also a fascinating way to view the company I was interning for from a different and more high-level perspective that has translated to my current consulting work.
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Morgan Reed

Where are you now? I will be starting full time at KPMG in Short Hills, New Jersey, as an advisory associate in their People and Change Department. How did the HOD Capstone Internship prepare you for your career? I'm incredibly fortunate to have been afforded this opportunity, and it wouldn't have been possible without the education I received at Vanderbilt. The Human and Organizational Development major allowed me to learn how to efficiently and effectively analyze issues at the personal and organizational levels. This made it possible for me to learn how to put forth concise recommendations that would allow for more success at those specific levels. HOD gave me the chance to travel overseas to London, England, to intern for the US-UK Fulbright Commission, where I met some incredible people who taught me the importance of feeling comfortable in new and foreign places. This may be why I don't feel as nervous taking a job in a place like New Jersey when I've lived in Tennessee my entire life. All in all, I have to say a huge thank you to the HOD Department for creating such a unique and fluid major. From teaching students how to network to mock interviews, HOD taught me skills I will always use in my future professional life.
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Trey Dodson

Where are you now? I am a Human Capital Consultant for Deloitte aligned to the Dallas office. How did the HOD Capstone Internship prepare you for your career? The HOD internship experience gave me an opportunity to apply and cultivate my critical thinking skills to solve a real problem for a real organization. Additionally, the HOD internship curriculum gave me the written and oral communication skills, business acumen, and “know how” to successfully deliver value to my clients on a daily basis. I truly believe that I will leverage the key takeaways from my HOD internship experience for as long as I am in the ‘World of Work’
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Claire Fogarty

Where are you now? Post-graduation I will spend the summer in San Francisco as an investment intern at Makena Capital. After the internship, I will be attending the University of Virginia to pursue a Master’s of Commerce in Business Analytics. How did the HOD Capstone Internship prepare you for your career? The HOD internship helped prepare me for my career by consistently pushing me out of my comfort zone and forcing me to experience new things. By completing my internship with a small advertising agency in Brooklyn, I learned to work in a unique environment, as well as to live in a new city. Being in a different environment, I was exposed to many new things, and I was able to determine factors that are most important to me when looking for future opportunities.